This is a blip in our regularly scheduled programming…
Now that I am getting close to completing my time here in Twillingate, my amazing, rewarding, growth inducing, creativity boosting and community enriching time here in Twillingate, I am more than a little stressed about the next step.
I have one week left in my stipend for the residency, so one last regular payment.
My EI is STILL under review from the time I filed self employment earning when I first got out here till now. I was told it would take 21 days, its now been 34 and counting. I’ve called and they have escalated, but still no decision. I haven’t been able to do a report since I came here and my only regular income has been the stipend of $250 a week. I’ve sold some work here and there as well and had a couple of very kind folks help out which has been a great releif.
People are stunningly kind, humbling really.
All that being said, I am without any form of “regular/reliable” income after this week until the make a decision on my EI. Even then, my claim lapses in October.
I was hopeful that my combined calendar, print and limited edition sales would ramp up over the summer and it would all be a moot point, but while I know they will improve, its not been what I hoped it would be.
And then I feel like a jerk, because I am trying to monetize something that I share on line for folks to enjoy for free.
I’m very concerned.
Very concerned that I will have to take a job outside what I am doing. I am very concerned about being able to do that job, whatever it may be. I am a 50 year old man with a major injury, dealing with chronic pain and mental health issues. I’m also smart, talented, have a magic eye and a desire to constantly improve.
I am NOT lazy, I work very hard to make my photography what it is. I spend a lot of time in the feild, crawling over rocks and under stages and through whatever the heck THOSE plants are and through the water and over the hill and in the dark. I spend hours editing my work, teasing out the details, creating something that can’t be seen with the naked eye in the field. I work HARD to create a story for you, the viewer..
I work hours and hours on self promotion, and sharing, and interacting and trying to get to the next level, to get my work out there more and more, to create a market and a place for my unique vision in a genre busting with unique visions from so many others.
I do all that and it fills me with joy. I love it, I LOVE the work of photography, of being a photographer, a story teller, a creator, an artist. Its sooths my soul, it creates a bubble of stability in my mental health, it eases the depression, it lessens the anxiety…
I am filled with light whenever I play with light…. it connects me… and not to sound cliché, it COMPLETES me…
And now I am starting to crack at the edges a little because I may have to seriously look at getting a job in retail or some other field to pay the bills. Retail almost destroyed me…. but its what I am trained in, and what I am experienced in and to make sure my family is secure, I’ll do what I need to do…
What I have to do….
Who knows, maybe this will all fall into place. I’ll do well enough to get through the winter and kick of 2022 with my Photo Tours, maybe a small gallery space as well… that’s the dream. If its going to be retail work, good lord let it be retail that works for ME, let it me MY work being retailed.
Maybe I’ll figure out new ways to monetize what I do, maybe there’s a surprise around the next corner just waiting to be discovered.
All I know is that I am so eternally grateful for this opportunity in Twillingate. It proved to me that I have the eye and that folks want to hear my story. It’s also made me realize there is nothing else I want to do. If it were just me I would just do it, sell the house, rent a small place, work, work and work, travel the province and just continue to discover, capture and share…
But I have a family to think about, they need security and stability…. I just hope that I can provide it…
Sorry about the pause in the regular programming folks, I just needed to get this off my chest. It helps me when I do….
I’ll have a regular photo related post later tonight… thanks!